Radford Ellis is a Memphis singer known for his Elvis tribute on Beale Street. Radford knew Elvis for many years from care-taking at Graceland, initially cutting the yard. He was a confidant to Elvis, sometimes sitting on the roof together talking all night. Radford was also a body-double decoy for Elvis after concerts a few times. A musician in his own right, Radford was so often compared with Elvis that he was compelled to perform his songs. Music in this episode is used courtesy of Radford Ellis.
Tim Sampson is communications director for the Soulsville Foundation which runs the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Stax Music Academy, and the Soulsville Charter School in Memphis. We discuss the history of Stax Records including artists Booker T. Jones, Otis Redding, Jean Knight, the Staple Singers, and Isaac Hayes as well as the establishment and operation of Soulsville which Tim has been involved with since day one.
Miss Joyce is a Memphis soul/R&B singer with an inspirational story. Joyce Howard-Hemans was a preacher’s kid who found a secular spirituality and left home at fourteen to carve out her own place in the world. She’s faced hardships including a period of homelessness and losing multiple friends to gang violence and she’s channelled her experiences into her music and songwriting.